Developer – Anchor Reality
Store – Steam
Platforms – HTC Vive, Oculus Rift
Website – netstarshockey.com
Twitter – @netstarshockey
Price – USD 29.99
VR Supported – Experience an unmatched level of realism as you step in front of a slap shot.
Progressive Scoring System – Focused on key goalie fundamentals including angle alignment, depth positioning, save location, reaction quickness, rebound and recovery.
Realtime Visual Indicators – Continuous reinforcement of best practices and key goalie fundamentals.
3D Motion-Captured – True-to-life puck physics and skater animation combined with AI-based plays.
From Pond to Pro – Play a wide variety of rink environments, practice drills and player types.
Drill Data – Understand where your goalie game is strong and where it’s falling short.
Full Body Tracking – With HTC Vive Trackers you can bring your legs into play too.
NetStars is a virtual reality goalie game designed to improve performance through fun, interactive plays and a progressive, skills-based scoring system.
In early 2017, Minnesota-native and former goalie, Josh Beatty (now living far from the ice in Louisville, Kentucky) was missing that feeling of being in the net. Coincidentally, Josh and business partner, Mike Casto, were building virtual and augmented reality experiences, so it was inevitable that a VR Goalie Game would become a pet project.
Assuming that there might be others out there who shared the same need to mind the net, Josh put the game for free on Steam, a game distribution platform, where it got a lot of encouraging feedback. Goalies and hockey fans immediately saw the usefulness of unlimited ice time – even without the actual ice (or the cost, time, resources and physical punishment that comes from usually stopping pucks).
More than just a game, Josh and Mike wanted to understand if there was a way to turn what was already a fun experience into a coaching tool that promoted proper goaltending techniques and provided detailed feedback. Josh met with goalies, teams and coaches, including USA Hockey. He quickly learned that promoting best practices and muscle memory, relied on tracking an entire play cycle including setting up for the shot, reacting to the shot and following through after the save. The result is a skills-based scoring game that facilitates and rewards proper goaltending techniques through realtime feedback in a realistic play setting. Now on Steam, NetStars aims to become the best way for goalies to promote best practice off ice.
“NetStars is an innovative way to allow goalies to work on goaltending specific skills and muscle memory in a fun way. They have created a cool skill progression series as well as practice situations that we believe will translate to the game,”
– Phil Osaer, USA Hockey ADM Manager, Goaltending.
“My favorite VR experience! Visuals are great and the physics feel real. After a few rounds of 40+ saves, I’m feeling fatigued.”
“10/10 was a goalie at a decent level, could 100% tell this was developed by another goalie. Wanna see what it’s like to be a goalie, this was memories.”
“Very realistic and great for practice.”
“As a Canadian I approve.”
– Trace Katral
“Okay, I don’t write reviews but this game has me hyped. It is a lot of fun and it feels pretty real.”
“saves feel satisfying…”
“Absolutely a blast to play.”
“Nothing else like it, plenty of fun!”
“This is incredible!”
“Extremely fun game to get your hockey fix.”
– The Crawfather
“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am (used to be) a goalie but I can never play again because I broke three ribs diving for a puck – well that and I’m old now. I really felt the exhilaration of that moment before a 103 MPH slapshot comes at me. The physics and the graphics are great! Like I said, that sense of exhilaration came back. All in all this is a dream come true for me. I get to play goalie again! YAY!”
Josh is cofounder and CEO of modulR, an award-winning tablet accessory company, and Anchor Reality, an interactive shop. No longer goaltending, Josh finds his flow now bombing his mountain bike through trails around Louisville.
Mike is also cofounder for modulR and Anchor Reality. Designer and craftsman, Mike endlessly explores the intersection of product, space and graphic design, and how they can best elevate experiences.